Gulu Wants Misused YLP Funds Recovered Through Parents of Beneficiaries

Andrew Mase Onen, the district YLP Desk Focal Person, several groups have mismanaged the funds and less than 150 million shillings have been recovered from the groups in the four years adding that the district is considering tasking defaulters' parents to payback the money.
Irene Auma of Oruu Ki Tam Youth Produce Group that benefitted from YLP speaking to URN recently - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

Gulu district plans to recover Youth Livelihood Programme – YLP funds from the parents of the defaulters.

Government of Uganda launched YLP programme in 2014 to support poor and unemployed youth aged 18 to 30 years to create self-employment opportunities and enhance their incomes.

In Gulu, the programme was inaugurated in 2015 and over 600 million Uganda Shillings has been disbursed to 87 different youths’ groups in Awach; Patiko, Palaro, Cwero, Bungatira and Unyama sub-counties.

According to Andrew Mase Onen, the YLP focal person several groups that benefited from the funds have failed to repay the loan. He said less than 150 million shillings has been recovered in the past four years.

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But Kenneth Obina of Diro Perom Youth Group in Unayama Sub-County who received 8.5 million shillings says that their failed poultry project was as a result of technical guidance from the district.      

Richard Acaye of Kica Ber Youth Group in Patiko Sub-County says that they received 7.6 million shillings for a piggery project but it also failed because none of them had received technical training.

Lucy Aciro, an Agro Enterprise professional at Gulu University who participated in a validation of the performance of the groups that was conducted this year agrees with the group members saying the beneficiaries failed to sustain their enterprises due to lack of training.

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Moses Laker, a concerned parent in Gulu town opposed the method of recovering the funds arguing that after the programme was initiated in 2016 local on politicians duped youth groups to misappropriate the government by sending wrong message that the money was for free.

However, Diana Naturinda Makombore, the Communications Officer YLP in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development disclosed that defaulters’ parents can be put to task to recover the funds especially if they recommended the youth groups as guarantors to receive the funds.

According to Naturinda, such stern measures, nonetheless, may only be applied in worst-case scenarios to help government recover the money so that it is advanced it to other youths. 

Government invested an initial budget of 265 billion shillings in the interest-free revolving fund and up to a tune of 25 million Shillings can be disbursed to a group depending on the nature of the enterprise. Each group is required to have a membership of between 10 – 15 people of whom 30% must be females to encourage gender fairness.